April 2015

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Pastoring Your Church through a Leader’s Misconduct

Tips for a redemptive response
Pastoring Your Church through a Leader’s Misconduct

When the assistant pastor called the church’s key leaders to his house for an urgent meeting, my husband and I both suspected something serious had happened. We could not have guessed just how serious. Once all 20 of us had packed into the living room, our senior pastor came in and simply said, “I have something to tell you.”

His subsequent admission ...

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Where Were You When It Happened?

Helping when mass tragedy strikes your congregation
Where Were You When It Happened?

For the past century, and arguably longer, generations have self-identified with their own answer to this question. Where were you when Kennedy was assassinated? Where were you when news broke that Dr. Martin Luther King was shot, when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded, when the World Trade Center collapsed? Sadly, recent events have set up our younger generations with ...

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When Church Leaders Mistreat You

It takes courage and strength to replace anger with love
When Church Leaders Mistreat You

The words mistreatment and church leader shouldn't be in the same sentence, but unfortunately sometimes they are. The fact is, many people on staff, as well as members of the church, are mistreated by their leaders.

My husband and I were mistreated by our pastor, and we witnessed his mistreatment of others. In a leadership meeting one evening the senior pastor embarrassingly ...

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Hollowed Out, Hallowed In

Leading during a time of personal trauma
Hollowed Out, Hallowed In

As leaders in ministry we expect ourselves to have the answers for the walking wounded who come to us for counsel. Depending on our gifts and our roles, we deliver the sermons or teachings that heal, the physical gestures that comfort, the counsel that soothes, or the silence that reassures. We pray. We do our jobs: We stand in the gap and assure those walking wounded that ...

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Stilling the Storm

A book review
Stilling the Storm

“Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” the disciples asked Jesus, waking him, during a storm. Perhaps this question is one we’ve asked Jesus, too, during difficult times in our own congregation. Many of us have asked questions like these:

• Jesus, don’t you care if we drown in financial troubles since we didn’t meet our budget ...

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When You Just Can’t Care Anymore

Preventing and healing compassion fatigue
When You Just Can’t Care Anymore

It’s late evening and you’ve finally settled in bed. You are pastor-on-call, and the last thing you want is for the phone to ring.

Your cell rings.

Your adrenaline pumps. Immediately you swing into “pastor mode.”

The woman on the other end of the phone is crying. The ambulance just left her house and is headed to the ER. She thinks her husband ...

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Married, Spiritually Single, and Called to Lead

Managing tension between marriage and ministry
Married, Spiritually Single, and Called to Lead

As a married woman in leadership whose husband doesn’t share her faith, I’ve learned that managing the tension between marriage and ministry is hard. Navigating competing values and priorities, cross-gender relationships, and loneliness can be frustrating and discouraging. But if you and your husband are willing to invest time and effort, you can make it work. ...

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Make Conflict Work for You

Handling disagreement can help your relationships
Make Conflict Work for You

During a routine ministry meeting, I expressed my opinion on a particular topic relevant to our meeting. “Whoa!” said one of the members. “I’m not sure I agree with that.” This began a long discussion, with heated exchanges on both sides. At the end of the meeting, I felt awkward and nervous about the exchange, afraid that this would be the ...

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Connect Your Church with Its Community

An interview with Dana Baker, pastor of multicultural ministries, church partnership, and prayer
Connect Your Church with Its Community

Dana Baker has had an exciting and unsuspecting journey to leadership in the church and community, and she is glad to share her experience with our readers. Dana is pastor of multicultural ministries, church partnership, and prayer at Grace Chapel, a non-denominational church in Lexington, Massachusetts. She has served on the ministry staff since October 2000, serving in ...

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Premenstrual Ministry

Maybe this curse is also a blessing
Premenstrual Ministry

I was scrolling through headlines when the story caught my attention: yet another school shooting had resulted in yet another fatality. A young girl was dead at the hands of a classmate, her parents shattered by grief, her community forever changed. I felt undone. It was only 8:00 but I put myself to bed immediately, where I commenced with sobbing.

The next morning I ...

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